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Doesn't RecommendNegative Outlook
- Work/Life Balance
- Culture & Values
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- Senior Management
I worked at Skoah full-time
The ladies I had the amazing opportunity to work with made this job as bearable as it could possibly be. The Seattle & Bellevue gals are warm, genuine, sincere, dedicated, and are truly people I see in my life for years to come. I look forward to a time when they can all secure employment with a (different) company that will value them for their hard work & dedication instead of treating them as replaceable parts in a broken machine. Everyone at these stores is capable of so, so much but they've become downtrodden and have started questioning their own sense of self-worth and self-efficacy as employees. They deserve much better.
In no particular order: 1. No benefits package. No medical insurance, no stipend for buying your own insurance, no 401k, no paid vacation until the end of the year when you are paid a lump sum for the vacation time that you've accrued (with no opportunity to cash out vacation prior to the end of the year, as verified by a krew member in the Store Support Center), etc. There was a period of time while I worked for skoah that I had to receive state food assistance as I was working full-time and still couldn't afford food because any residual money was going toward paying for insurance. 2. You are told one thing and another thing happens. Expect inconsistency, always. -Example 1: As an SCT, you will probably be told you'll have the opportunity to earn your commission from your 3 month probationary period. However, you most likely will not be given this opportunity. -Example 2: As an SCT, you will probably be told that you can come in for your full 8 hour shift, even on days with zero/few appointments (I was told once that this is a reason why we should be "thankful" to work for the company). However, on slow days you can rest assured that your hours WILL be cut. This is often not your manager's decision; it's almost always a decision passed down from upper management in Canada to the store managers in Seattle. -->FYI: Given how few Seattlites know what skoah even is, despite giving away hundreds of free facials to residents, slow days are incredibly common. To be generous, fiscally budget for 2/3 of the hours they say you'll actually get to work on a weekly basis. To be realistic, fiscally budget for 1/2 of the hours they say you'll get to work. 3. No "calling in" protocol. Sure, you can text or call the manager of your store (IF your store has a manager; the Pike Street & Capitol Hill locations currently do not) when you know that you will be unable to come in for your shift, but then it somehow becomes that manager's job to figure out how to get the store opened. More often than not, the managers must come in on their day off (assuming they are in town) with little to no notice, on top of the 40+ hours they've already worked that week due to inventory, events, evals, etc. With a salary of ~$30-33k/year, working over 40 hours is absolutely absurd. And with no benefits package it's even more absurd. And cruel. So, good luck having stores open successfully for the day if you've got an SCC who can't make it in & a manager who isn't in town and/or has good work/life boundaries. 4. Claims to be charity-oriented. skoah has a program in their Canadian stores called the "switcharoo program": if a customer bring in full/mostly full beauty or skincare products they may receive $5 off individual skoah products for each item they bring in & the items brought in by customers are donated to a non-profit program that serves folks who are in need of those products. Pretty awesome, right? That'd be an especially awesome program in a support-giving community like Seattle, but even though the company has been in Seattle for almost TWO YEARS this program has yet to be put into effect in our community. Being a philanthropic company always looks good on paper but means nothing when there is no follow-through. It just looks dishonest.
Advice to Management
-Be consistent: don't state a policy, expectation, or aspiration for employees to work toward and then change it on a whim or when it costs the company money. -Be supportive: if you see SCCs or SCTs that aren't performing to "standard", instead of threatening to fire them for weak sales maybe you should provide additional training so that they may reach "standard" in the manner that skoah has deemed feasible and effective. -Be smart: utilize your employees in the region for their knowledge of the area (for things like advertising, networking, etc.) and trust that when we beg for things like health insurance, it's not because we are greedy or entitled-- it's because we really, REALLY need it. Also, before doing extreme promotions like giving away free facials to absolutely anybody, perhaps you should consult with the Seattle krews who have a much better understanding of what would be effective in Seattle. -Be kind: if you are going to make frequent visits to Seattle, I'd strongly advise you to get to know your employees on a more personal level. We are hard-working, dedicated, loyal people with rich backgrounds and lives. Please don't make your employees continue to feel disposable and instead take the time to get to know us; the Seattle krews will feel more valued and sales performances will almost certainly get better as a result.